The Print Heritage Room
This used to be known as the Pink Room due to the colour it was painted. It’s a cosy room in winter and was often used by Sir John Betjeman, the Poet Laureate, whenever he visited the Castle. It has marvellous views of the front of the Castle and outdoor landscape.
Sir John (Jack) Leslie made this room his home when he returned after five years in a German POW camp. After he moved to Rome, Camilla Leslie, Sammy’s sister, made it hers, having outgrown the Nursery. Desmond Leslie also used the room extensively for his writing, composing his first play there. He also wrote some amusing topical review songs and lyrics here that were staged at the Gate Theatre by the famous Hilton Edwards and Michael Mac Liammoir.
Lady Louisa Connolly’s famous 18th century Print Room at Castletown, Co. Kildare, the only fully intact 18th century print room left in Ireland, inspired the décor style. During Lady Louisa’s time it became popular for ladies to collect their favourite prints and then arrange and paste them on to the walls of a chosen room, along with decorative borders. Each Print Room reflected the personal style of the individual whom it belonged to, and could certainly be seen as a scrapbook of sorts of mid 18th century culture and taste. The Print Room at Castle Leslie was created by local decorator Monica Liddle using Lady Louisa’s techniques.
There used to be an unpleasant triangular bedroom known as ‘The Insulting Room’, situated between the Chinese Room and the Print Room. Anyone disliked by the Leslie Family would be dumped in it, as a mark of disrespect, and a gentle hint not to return. When restoring the Castle, the awful room was divided to create two delightful bathrooms. The Print Room’s bathroom includes a solid stone tub, a megalithic shower and a loo with a self-raising seat. This relaxing decor makes it one of the favoured spa hotels Ireland has on offer.
A secret passage runs beneath the floor of this room, from a concealed entrance in the Chinese Room to most parts of Castle Leslie. When it was still open it came in useful for avoiding nannies and governesses, or for visiting unsuspected girlfriends! Alas it’s now closed for safety reasons.